Patti was excited to get back to the Great White North and to finally see a game at Rogers Centre. She lived in Mississauga for six months, but was too busy working and watching the Cardinals on TV, so she never made it out to a game.
Rogers Centre — then known as Skydome — was where the Blue Jays closed out their second consecutive World Series championship in 1993 on Joe Carter’s memorable walk-off home run.
Nestled in downtown Toronto, Rogers Centre is easy to get to — once you get thru all the traffic. Toronto is a very walkable city and has a decent transit system (TTC). You can take the subway to Union Station and then take the Skywalk to Rogers Centre. There are nearby streetcar stops on King St. and Spadina Ave. You can also use Parking Panda to reserve a spot ahead of time and it can be inexpensive.
Because I was the one driving, I will disagree with my wife here. She did not have to suffer through the bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go traffic thanks to omnipresent construction and a large 10K that happened to end as we were coming into Toronto.
It was a frustrating drive and I wish we had used public transportation from Mississauga or another suburb.
Rogers Centre is an interesting stadium. I remember seeing it from the outside before, when the roof was closed, and my memory was of a lot of concrete. However, on this beautiful day in May, the roof was open and the inside is very nice.
There are also some interesting sculptures on the outside looking down at you. You can see the CN Tower overlooking the venue. The seats were filled and the fans were rooting on their team, albeit, in a losing effort against the Red Sox.
When the wave began, we joined in, and there were other songs in which the crowd participated. All-in-all, it was a very enjoyable experience.
Rogers Centre reminded me a lot of Marlins Park — another stadium we liked and consider it an underrated venue.
We liked it a lot more because the roof was open — as was the roof at Marlins Park on opening day.
Blue Jays fans love their team and it’s obvious to see while watching the game. But there just seemed to be something lacking at Rogers Centre to get a higher mark. They try with a DJ hyping the fans with Drake tunes, but seeing baseball played under the sun and on turf instead of grass just doesn’t seem right.
There are many concession options, including healthy ones, at Rogers Centre. Muddy York Market near section 109 has a huge variety in one place. Ron had the poutine, and it was okay – definitely not as good as the poutine we had in Montreal. Those “rumours” are true.
Patti had Korean tacos that were to die for. Prices are reasonable; your typical stadium prices. With a favorable exchange rate to the U.S. dollar, you might even come out ahead if you use a credit card without foreign transaction fees.
Speaking of prices, it is reasonable to see a Blue Jays game. We had great seats overlooking right field, but that doesn’t mean they were dirt cheap, either.
The prices were a bit higher for the Mother’s Day game against the Red Sox. The same tickets were had in section 214 that we paid $58 (Canadian) apiece for — before fees — are $52 for the June 7 game against the woeful Orioles.
There is not much “extra” within the stadium itself, unless you count the hotel. However, that’s a bit cost prohibitive. The Blue Jays do provide free wifi and there is that awesome view of CN Tower.
The “12 Bar” pays tribute to Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar and offers excellent views of the stadium. It does not require a special ticket to access and the front row counter to watch the game is first-come, first-served.
Patti loves Toronto. There really is a lot to do and, as mentioned before, it is a very walkable city. Purveyors of the arts will find a lot of options. Toronto is the third largest theatre-producing city in the English-speaking world. There are plenty of brew pubs and restaurants and anything you could expect from a large city.
Of course, we had to go to the Hockey Hall of Fame and see Lord Stanley’s Cup in person. When we walked in Chris Pronger was being honored in the Legends video. As Blues fans, we found that awesome. There is a lot of great history and interactive activities you can enjoy, like playing goalie or trying to score a goal.
After the game, we went to Real Sports, which is a sprawling higher-end sports bar with a two-story TV among the many screens and good food and beverages. You may see a celebrity or sports figure in the VIP section. Ron says the setup of screens is “man cave goals.” Although it is higher end, families are welcome and we did not feel out of place in our game gear.
We highly recommend also going up in the CN Tower. It is not inexpensive, but if you are spending a couple of days or more in Toronto, there is a city pass which includes this experience. The views over Lake Ontario and of the city are something to see. The Edge Walk, which allows one to perform a tethered, hands-free walk around the 5 ft. ledge 116 stories above the ground, is still on our bucket list. At over $200 per person, it was a bit beyond our price range for this trip.
There is plenty to do when you venture out into the greater Toronto area. The bucolic terrain throughout the Niagara Escarpment is dotted with waterfalls and wineries from Hamilton all the way down to the majestic Niagara Falls.